Jobless rates drop in 111 Ky. counties

FRANKFORT — Jobless rates fell in 111 Kentucky counties from July 2009 to July 2010, according to numbers released Wednesday by the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training.

Boyd County's rate, 7.7 percent, was the lowest in the state. Fayette County, which has had the state's lowest unemployment rate since September 2008, had a rate of 7.8 percent, tied with Oldham County.

Boyd County's stint with the lowest unemployment rate will probably be short-lived, said Ron Crouch, director of research and statistics with the state Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. Last month, King's Daughters Medical Center, a major employer in Ashland, laid off 82 workers and reduced the hours of several more. Crouch said he expects Boyd's unemployment rate for August to rise.

Counties with the next-lowest rates were Calloway, 7.9 percent; Clinton, 8 percent; Woodford, 8.1 percent; Hancock and McCracken, 8.4 percent each; and Carlisle, Franklin, Madison and Webster, 8.5 percent each.

Magoffin County reported the highest unemployment rate, 18.1 percent. It was followed by Jackson, 16.2 percent; Metcalfe, 15.5 percent; Menifee, 15.4 percent; Wolfe, 14.1 percent; Lewis, 13.9 percent; Marion, 13.8 percent; Powell, 13.6 percent; and Clay, Grayson, Morgan and Nelson, 13.4 percent each.

Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than the precise number of people working. They do not include unemployed Kentuckians who have not looked for employment within the past four weeks.